JIM Strang (pictured), president of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), has urged social landlords to back its campaign to tackle domestic violence, revealing that over 300 organisations have already signed up less than a year after its launch.
Championed by former president, Alison Inman, the Make a Stand campaign was launched by the CIH in May 2018, in partnership with Women’s Aid and the Domestic Abuse Alliance (DAHA). The campaign asks housing organisations to make four commitments to support residents and staff who are experiencing domestic abuse.
At the organisation’s Presidential Dinner at The Brewery in London last night, Strang used the occasion to push the message and urge organisation who haven’t yet pledged a commitment to do so.
“Domestic violence was a regular visitor in our house when I was a child, and it was never really a home because of its presence,” said Strang. “Housing as a profession is ideally placed to help identify the signs, to deal with the outcomes and help tackle some of the root causes of domestic violence.
“I am thrilled to announce that more than 300 organisations have signed up to Make a Stand less than year after its launch. I’d like to pay tribute to my predecessor Alison Inman who started this campaign rolling, and a huge thank-you to every single organisation and person who has been involved so far.”
He added: “If your organisation hasn’t signed up yet – what are you waiting for? I ask you to stand with Alison, stand with me, stand with CIH, DAHA and Women’s Aid, and Make a Stand against domestic abuse.
“And if you have signed up – it’s not enough to simply post it on your social media. We need you to enshrine it into your policies and within your practices. Offer domestic abuse no quarter. Train your staff to the fullest extent possible and empower them to make a real difference.”
Since the campaign’s launch, 302 landlords have so far signed up to take action. Collectively they own and manage more than 2.6 million homes – that’s more than 50% per cent of all social housing across the UK.
Kelly Henderson and Gudrun Burnet of DAHA said: “We are delighted with the success of the Make a Stand campaign, it is really heartening to see more and more housing organisations making a stand against domestic abuse,” said Kelly Henderson and Gudrun Burnet of DAHA. “We are so excited to work with those housing providers who have made the initial step to support them to convert this in to full DAHA accreditation, which was recently backed publicly by MHCLG.”
Sian Hawkins, head of campaigns and public affairs at Women’s Aid, said: “Home should be a place of safety but for thousands of women and children experiencing domestic abuse it can be the most dangerous place they can be. We’re delighted that over 300 housing organisations have signed up to the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Make a Stand pledge.
“By signing this pledge, these housing organisations have recognised the important role they have in helping survivors – whether they need support to be safe in their own homes or set up a new home after fleeing their abuser. This is the first step to making sure every survivor and child gets the support they need from housing organisations to rebuild their life free from domestic abuse.”